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Monday, June 27, 2016


"But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth." 
 Ephesians 4:20-24

Knowledge is sweet. The problem is that it brings with it the responsibility to act on what we have learned. When we begin to really know Jesus, we must face the real challenges of change. Let's think about the demands of this sweet knowledge.

We often forget that our God is all RIGHTEOUS, HOLY, and ALMIGHTY.  Our God is not an idol god, nor is He a rose, a candy stick or a pincushion.  We must not lose sight of WHO HE IS, what He demands and expects of us. He is all merciful, loving, longsuffering, kind, and the Author of our redemption and Restorer of our souls, but that does not mean He is going to "accept" us in our sins and indulge us. It is not in God's Holy character.

Sometimes He divides.  He divides righteousness from unrighteousness; truth from error (untruth); evil from good; peace from not peace. Jesus says,

"Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law” (Luke 12:51-53).  

It means that there will be divisions among family members, among brethren, friends, and other relationships for His sake. Yes, our relationships will be affected for His sake and the sake of His kingdom. When we choose to take up our cross and follow Him, counting the cost, this will divide us from others. The minute we decide to stand for Truth and Righteousness, we are going to appear separated from the world or from those who practice the opposite. We are called to be holy and worthy of our calling. We are to crucify our flesh and its desires and walk as He walked in all righteousness.

As those who have heard, been taught, and have learned Christ, that is, the Truth, we must crucify the old self and put on the new self.  The one renewed in his mind, according to the Spirit of Christ, renewed is in the likeness of God, created to be righteous and holy.  We must be careful about what we choose and the entertainment we take in, careful about the books we read, the movies we watch, what and how much TV we watch, the music we listen to, the sports we like, our social media, the friends we choose, and many things of this kind that are thrown our way to make us stumble.

Unfortunately, in today's culture, the message is often the opposite. We are told to learn "ACCEPTANCE," which is, in fact, to give our permission for someone to indulge in sin. They will say, "Well, it is okay." "It is not that harmful." "A little bit is not going to hurt you or make you lose your soul." When the truth is, that if what we choose or allow is not in accord with the Word of God, then it is a sin.

Therefore, let us follow the absolute standard, and that is God's Truth. The Truth dictates what we should do and how we ought to walk. His Word is pure, perfect, simple, true, and righteous altogether; able to make the simple in heart, wise, and able to restore the soul and equip it for every good deed. The Truth will free us from all blindness and foolishness.
  • We, as children of God, are not called to compromise our calling and pretend it is okay.  We are to bring every thought captive, "We are destroying speculations, and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). 
  • We are to question everything we do or say, asking what is written in the Word of God.  

It is sad to see how many Christians partake of the fruits of darkness without rebuking them. It is wrong! This compromise can be as simple as a movie or the music we listen to, our culture idols, or our books, or our friends. We need to be wise and use discernment. Otherwise, we are in danger of losing our souls for eternity. What a tragedy that will be!

God expects and demands of us, His followers, that we ask for wisdom and understanding to do His will in every aspect of our life. We cannot serve two masters! One does not include God, and the other does. We are His handiwork prepared for every good work. We must make God part of every decision, whether great or small. Whether in family, friends, entertainment, health, education, or how we spend our time, God cares for us as His children.  All we have to do is ask for whatever it is that we need to be complete in Him that we may be righteous and holy.

As those who profess to be God's children, we must not participate in the sins of this world. Nothing can justify that! He demands that we OBEY Him and take a stand for His Truth and righteousness. We are not called to be foolish and idle!  Do you think that God is foolish and idle?  Is obedience idle?  Is love idle?  Is righteousness idle?  Is Truth idle?  I am afraid too many of us, His children, get too comfortable in our beds of idleness, acceptance, and compromise. We deceive ourselves when we worry about being accused of  "being judgmental" and refuse to rebuke sin at all.

Please let us not fall into Satan's trap!  Do not offend.  Do not be rude. Do not be unkind.  Do not be unloving... Let us stand for the Truth that has been once given to us by our Lord Jesus, embrace and love it with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let us be like those giants of the faith who were able to stand for their faith, the Truth, boldly and simply in times of hardship and persecution, and refused to compromise and partake with those who practiced lawlessness.

Our Lord Jesus never encouraged us to sin, nor did He ever indulge us in our sins, just because He loved us so much. He never has nor will He ever give us the license to keep sinning. Don't forget, He called us out of our sins, our lawlessness, that we might love the Truth and become free from the slavery of sin. Let's not be idle! Let us speak, fight, and stand firm in our faith and His Truth. Remember, Truth is life and not death. Truth is eternal. Truth endures forever.

With all this on our shoulders, placed there by God’s righteousness, holiness, and Truth, let us purpose in our heart, soul, and mind to refuse to look like the world, walking in lawlessness. Let us refuse to walk in darkness but rather in His Light. Let us refuse to partake in the deeds of darkness but rather rebuke them. Let us refuse to compromise our Faith, the Truth, and God's righteousness and holiness. Instead, let us be rooted in our faith and be holy because HE IS HOLY.  Remember, God must be number one in our life! Let's not provoke God to anger by lawlessness in our lives. Our God is a consuming fire! Let us never forget His glory, which is His righteousness.
"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet." (Nahum 1:3

So, in which areas of your life do you need to ask God's wisdom and understanding to walk in righteousness and holiness, in His likeness? Have you forgotten to walk the ancient paths? Are you partaking in the works of lawlessness, whether big or small? Have you become seared and blind to sin?  Have you forgotten that God is all righteous and holy and therefore demands that we be holy?
"But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy" (I Peter 1:15-16).

May the Lord help us to walk in all righteousness and holiness without compromise according to His wisdom and understanding.


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